Under construction -- All these clocks are on display at the House of Clocks, and hopefully we will have more of their descriptions and history up on this page soon. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures...
The Cuckold's Clock
(On indefinite loan from Scotland Yard's Black Museum)
Exhibited in the Rogue's Gallery
This clock is a material witness to three grisly episodes of domestic violence. To say that the clock is in any way to blame would be a foolish and superstitious accusation, but none-the-less the deaths of Lizzie Barlow, Ruth Harriet and Charlotte Brooke all occurred beneath its innocent white face. Charlotte Brooke's relationship with Sir Henry Cope was proved in court to be beyond reproach and yet still there are three (repaired) bullet holes in the clock's body, three dead women, and three young men with life sentences, currently enjoying her Majesty's hospitality. Young couples are not encouraged to browse. -- Capt.S.S. Hendley
This is the treasured clock of the young Wescott sisters, and can be seen in the famous photograph of the pair, a picture of innocence in their white petticoats, taken mere hours before their removal to Lentworth Asylum in the winter of 1894. It was there in the sitting room on that terrible night which saw the death of their parents and brother, and it was later brought to them in their cold and cramped cell, its presence all that would calm them and silence their wretched screams. The ward nurse notes in her diary that the children would often be seen kneeling with the clock placed in front of them, eyes fixed on its face and the languid motion of the hands, lips moving soundlessly as if in answer to unspoken questions. -- Mordecai Mulroney
The Zodiac Clock
The following description is not entirely up the scholarly standard which the House of Clocks generally prefers for its published annotations and descriptions, but as our staff of horological experts have been reluctant (indeed, have outright refused) to invest the time and effort in studying the timepiece to document it further, we have let this entry stand until a replacement can be written.
Not a standard timepiece, this device measures not in the hours of the day, but in the passages of the sun, moon, and planets through the houses of the western astrology. It is beautifully constructed and devious in design. Instead of numerals, the dial has the twelve zodiac signs marked in its divisions. Eleven hands in an intricate dance of the auspices of life and death. The imperceptible movements of Pluto that take years of precise study to even measure. From my knowledge of the Greek zodiac, the timepiece seems to have uncannily adjusted its measures to its current location and now serves as an accurate accounting of the natal signs of those born in this land. This is perplexing as there is no apparent way to reposition the hands and the imprint of the case implies that it was contructed in ______ (possibly the Netherlands though no consistent agreement was reached by the translators, though the list of translations ran the gamut from "The Hindquarters of The Grave! " to "The Backside of Hell") in 1847. At first I thought the timepiece was silent in operation, however over the years I have learned to hear its infernal workings. Rather than ticking or chiming, the only sounds from this blasphemous device are thousands of whispering voices naming each birth and each death as the moments of life slips in and out of shadow. My study of this timepiece have vexed me as no other in our exile. Distance does not diminish its voices. Nor did the study of other clocks release me from its thrall. My dreams are of destroying it and freeing myself, my very spirit from these maddening breaths that it issues. I would smash it and grind its workings beneath my heel, if not for the whisper most clear when I reach my limits and prepare to strike. It is an insidious fiend. That whisper, that morbid exhalation, fills me with despair as it says "Must I name you a second time?". The voice I know well, for it is my own... -- Joshua ben Levi
The Gypsy Girl's Clock
The grandfather clock is watching.
The grandfather clock, is patient,
The grandfather clock is hungry,
The grandfather clock is waiting,
The grandfather clock is watching.
(translated from the Croatian by Hake Cross O'Reed)
|I like this clock. And she likes me. When my duty here is done, I shall take her for my wife. --Capt. S.S. Hendley
The Davies Clock
The Davies Clock was so named for its discoverer, Anton Davies of Bremen, Germany. Davies found the clock in the sub-basement of a castle just outside of his boyhood home, shortly after the fall of Berlin. Attempts to date the piece have met with little success, for while to the untrained eye it appears to be of modern mechanical manufacture, there are telling marks that suggest a more complex history. The rope lever on the left-hand side, for instance, activates a countdown in spoken Aramaic. The countdown voice is that of a small child, and while of course there is some kind of mechanical recording within the clock, one cannot help but notice the voice become more and more strained and raspy with each pull of the lever. --Sir Peachy Carnehan
This clock was one of only two clocks built by Milo Sumurges, the infamous mathematician, architect, painter, psychologist, horologist and multiple murderer. The clock originally showed a picture of his home, built in 1834.
In the course of the criminal investigations, the remains of the little girls were found scattered, though not sparsely, across the acres of land surrounding the house. However, the mystery of how little girls' remains (identified as the victims of crimes from India, Africa, Alaska, and from as far back as 1630) came to be buried where they were, has never been resolved. (Although the circumstantial evidence linking Dr. Sumurges five of the contemporary local victims was strong enough to send him to an institution for the criminally insane.)
Like the mystery of the bodies found in the criminal investigation, it has yet to be explained how the picture of the clock was altered to that of the sanitarium to which Sumurges was committed in 1848. Equally puzzling are the reports of visitors who have claimed that the clock pictures their own home, and that a voice in the clock would reprimand them for unconfessed trespasses on the half-hour, and would compliment them and entreat them to come nearer on the hour. -- Eliot Thad Gilvie
NOTE 1: PLEASE DO NOT CROSS THE BARRIER AT ANY TIME, BUT ESPECIALLY NEAR THE HOUR.
NOTE 2: We regret to inform our customers that, because of complaints of some of our friends in the Brotherhood of Meatworkers, the other clock of this pair, the Virgin Clock, will not be displayed in the future. If you find it, please return it to a member of the staff.
The Three Guinea Watch
Exhibited in the Rogue's Gallery
To English-speaking children growing up during the Great War, Talbot Baines Reed was a well-known writer of adventurer stories, but this is only partly the truth.
As the writer's hunger for more and more exciting fictions consumed Mr. Reed, he began to write non-fiction and pass it off as children's yarns. This clever deception only became clear with his 1914 "Adventures of a Three Guinea Watch," which purported to be a made-up tale about a pocket-watch which underwent a number of adventures when it was stolen from (and later returned to) a young boy named Charlie (Charles) Newcombe. A newspaperman named Swaddling discovered that the tale was very similar to a case described by Charles Newbald, the once famous Psychometrist, who would astound Victorian audiences by reading their clocks and watches and telling disturbingly accurate histories of these items. Newbald and Swaddling filed a legal complaint against Mr. Reed in 1915. As news coverage at the time was primarily devoted to the war in Europe, the case warranted little space in the national newspapers, but the House of Clocks has a number of clippings pertaining to the case. These describe how Swaddling and Newbald began arguing about the facts of the case whilst in court and how Mr. Swaddling (a fast bowler for the Meopham Gentleman, in his spare-time) ended the argument by throwing his own Three Guinea Watch at Mr. Newbald, shouting, "Read this, you old fool!" The watch hit Charles Newbald in the centre of his forehead and killed him in front of a judge, a jury and a courtroom of witnesses.
The case against the false-fictionist Talbot Baines Reed was dropped and Mr. Swaddling's murder case was picked up in its place. Mr Reed's books were never as popular as they had been before 1915 (Children do not want their fantasy tainted with reality) and the House of Clocks now possesses a collection of Mr. Reed's books, a collection of articles and stage advertisements for Charles Newbald, a number of watches read by the Psychometrist, and Charles Newbald's murder weapon: still ticking and telling its tale.
Addendum: There are those that claim that Talbot Baines Reed died in 1893 and the watch; the newspaper articles and court transcripts are all forgeries and fictions. If this is true it adds yet a further layer of irony to the tragic tale of the Three Guinea Watch. -- Capt. S.S. Hendley
It is strange that, surrounded by the everyday atrocities of the Shambles, it is this clock that makes me feel sick with shame and horror. Even "The beast with two hands" that is now kept away from public display in the basement of the house (and which I have seen devour a rat, down to the bones) does not appall me as much as this item. This fine Mantel Clock, with its walnut veneered case, seems at first harmless and unassuming but in 1857, Joshua Markham, explorer and inventor, displayed his "Oriental Perpetua" as one of the true wonders of the modern age. Markham, whilst living amongst the heathen natives of the Chinese Interior, came across a shrine where a small ceramic Goddess possessed the ability to pour water, drop by miraculous drop, from her tiny ceramic water gourd. Markham took the idol back to Liverpool where he imprisoned her within a wooden case. Would he have done the same to the equivalently blessed crying statues of the Holy Virgin? I doubt it. This clock requires no key to wind the main spring: it is powered by a debased miracle. Each drop of holy liquid turns a brass water wheel, which turns a series of cogs, which turn the mundane hands across the profane clock-face. Over one hundred years later the clock still works, but it is slowing. The miraculous idol, separated from its idolaters, is drying up, and I am afraid. I do not want to live in a world without miracles. --Capt. S.S. Hendley
First mentioned in Bernard Fosters rather optimistically titled All Clocks: Vol I, this hideous device had the capacity to absorb time directly from its surroundings, never needing to be wound and yet causing nearby objects to rust or degrade, and living creatures in its sphere of influence to prematurely age and decay.
After passing through the possession of seventeen successive generations within a mere twelve weeks, its speed and area of effect were observed to be increasing and widening respectively.
With all local experts unwilling to approach the clock for long enough to study its motion, a technical solution to the problem was unforthcoming. Thus, in 1947, the piece's then owners had the clock swiftly dismantled and, as a precautionary measure, the pendulum removed and buried in a field in Wisconsin. -- Mordecai Mulroney
The Second's Sweep (or The Relativity Clock)
The first owner of this timepiece claimed that, if the clock is set on its back and one circles it in time with the second hand, (i.e. completeing the circuit in one minute), then the person who circled it can move at a speed relative to their current distance to the clock. No matter how far away they are, time accelerates for them so that they are always able to circle the clock in a minute. While we at the House of Clocks do not believe such claptrap, please do not try to remove this clock as it is nailed upright to its display. -- Eliot Thad Gilvie
(This descriptive account was found scrawled on a sheaf of balled up papers, at the bottom of a dirty coffee pot behind the front desk of the House of Clocks. The contents' accuracy has been unverifiable, but as no other histories may be obtained regarding this piece, its contents have been posted here.)
I am distressed to see that the clock you have until now referred to as
HOC9302 is in all actuality a piece known as "Charon's Gate."
The title is a reference to the history of the twelve coins which serve
as the place holders for the hours 1-12.
The Smithson-Oredale Clock
This is the only known photograph of the Smithson-Oredale clock, which is housed on the second-and-a-half floor of the museum. It may be viewed only with special permission from the curators of the collection, as the clock must be heavily sedated well in advance.
A date scratched into the bottom of the clock reads 1862, but many scholars argue that this is a forgery. More evidence to substantiate this claim is found on a yearly basis. For example, despite the omission of several minor details (easily attributed to terror-induced hallucinations on the part of the writers), the following is a perfect description of the Smithson-Oredale clock.
Excerpt from the diary of Charity Rowse, found in a recently discovered cache of artefacts from the "lost" colony of Roanoke:
3rd June 1589: Today went to Mister Lane's Home where we were Greeted by Mrs. Lane with all Cheer and ate. In there [sic] Home are many Goodes from England including a fine set of fire-tonges and a Clocke, the Type of which I have never before seen. It has the head of a great Wolf or Dogge engraved upon the Face where the Moon ought to be, and Curious silver-pawed-feet.
5th June 1589: Upon Waking today found Virginia Dare outside among the Chickens. I led her back to her Parents who were very glad to see her as she had gone Missing. There was a bite, as of a large Cat or other Creature upon her hand.
13th June 1589: Dear God the Clock is Coming its Chimes Howl like a Great Beast. Virginia is Outside but I will not let her In, her Eyes are Yellowe and she Barks. God Help us.
-- Gamaliel R. Devon II
Should you be in this room during a power failure at night and the only light you can see is the soft, steely luminescence of this clock's face, please remember, despite the large chain (which you might catch a glimpse of, behind the clock), do not turn away from it at any time! Please keep staring at it as you slowly back up to a wall and then slide your way towards an exit. There is no significance to the fact that very little has been heard from its owners since it was bought. --Eliot Thad Gilvie
The Angel's Harp
Having an argument with your spouse, your children, your friends, your coworkers? What better way to soothe their nerves than to let them listen to the heavenly sounds of this clock? Unique in both its appearance and and capabilities, its inventor (Jason Hartwick, a psychiatrist in Dubuque, Iowa) claimed the design fell from the sky to him in 1916. The sounds of the many harp strings attached to this clock will quickly have anyone drifting off into a sound, comfortable sleep. There are lovely copies of this clock available for sale at the museum shop, so that you can bring the celestial music home. However, we caution you that you don't want to make any suggestions to the sleepers immediately afterwards, as the unfortunate Jason did to his family. We decline to relate what happened then, but it was certainly no way to use a ladle, a magnifying glass, a rolling pin, newspaper, and a paring knife (though points should be given for imaginative useage of household objects). -- Eliot Thad Gilvie
This squat and dour looking timepiece has an extensive and elusive
history. Its exact date of construction is unknown, though it is
believe that its appearance has changed drastically over at least three
The Sophisticate's Mystery or The Swindler's Clock
Mr. Markeson's Body Clock
Upon rounding the corner into the ground floor's eastern hallway,
visitors will find themselves confronted by the late Mr. Terrence
Markeson, stood upright in his display case. Dressed in formal evening
wear, his moustache smartly greased, Markeson's preserved body cuts a
stylish figure, despite the waxen skin and sunken eyes.
The Folding Clock
This clock is obviously one of our favorite clocks, mostly because of its relative docility. Twenty-two times a day, when the hands overlap, this clock moves, folds, rotates, and shifts into a different shape. So far we have counted five hundred and seven different clocks into which it can change, from clepsydra and sundials to hourglasses and mechanical to digital and atomic. We have yet to discover its inner workings as this seems to irritate it, causing openings to shut so suddenly that tools have been snapped and fingers threatened. Its origins are unknown, but vague references are numerous including the works of Galileo, the Grimm Brothers, William Blake, and Nietzsche. We chose this photograph as it seems to be a favorite and the form that it most often takes; that and the fact that every other picture seems to disappear in a short time. If you wish, we do allow viewings of the clock's transformations- approximately 1:05, 2:11, 3:16, 4:22, 5:27, 6:33, 7:38, 8:44, 9:49, 10:55, and 12:00- but please do not leave anything in its room when you leave, as we like it just the size it already is. -- Eliot Thad Gilvie
Louis Pooks Hekatomb Horologika
This is not really a clock in the strictest sense of the word: although its design and manufacture closely mimic a conventional timepiece, it is more accurately classified as a novelty time-bomb. When the key is turned and the device wound, one spring controls the rotating hands to count down the twelve minute warning, whilst the second spring holds enough kinetic energy to burst open the case and shower dozens of sharp brass cogs and levers across the parlour. In a description written by one James Horlock, age 12, the events which folowed were described thusly: "Great fun for everyone! Oh the shock and joyous excitement as father was roused from his afternoon slumber, mother lost her concentration and stuck the lace pin in her thumb and deplorable cousin Jim, who was encouraged to stand close to the fire (and therefore close to the clock on the mantel) had to pick the shrapnel from his forehead." This device was the toast of the mid 19th century (copies were owned by all the crowned heads of Europe) and no one is known to have died from his or her wounds. So, in retrospect, it was a harsh decision that brought about its ban in France and from there to be banned or discouraged throughout mainland Europe and the colonies.
Due to the difficulties of rebuilding the clock after an explosion, the fickleness of the novelty market, and France's 1859 ban, very few complete copies of this remain. Although much of the outer-decoration and casing is missing, the House of Clocks is proud of its Hekatomb and keeps the clock-key locked and out of the reach of children and professional pranksters. -- Capt. S.S. Hendley
This piece was originally one of pair of clocks, the last to be crafted by reclusive Siamese twin chronologists, Edward and Gilbert Croft. Each of the conjoined craftsman would imbue their clocks with a particular individual style; ranging from the simple inclusion of engraved initials, to the smearing of the mechanism with fluids of personal supply. This appears to have endowed each piece with a peculiar sympathy with its creator.
Famously, the horological pair had no great affection for one another, an animosity no doubt resulting from their enforced proximity, and this ill feeling seemed to be shared by the clocks themselves, refusing to be placed within an inch of each other, as if propelled apart by means of magnetism.
At the time of Edward's death at 6:27pm on January the 4th, 1892, his half of the pair of clocks was said to stop dead in its motion at the very same instant, that of his brother stopping, equally inexplicably, upon his own death, a full thirty-seven minutes later.
Upon their demise the extent of the brothers' hostility towards one another became apparent. The Last Will and Testament of each revealed that they had chosen separate fates for their bodies after death, Edward choosing cremation, Gilbert opting for more traditional interment.
After a long and compelling court case, something of a cause célèbre in the national press of the time, the judge ruled that each of their wishes should be respected, a decision easily effected through the employment of two sturdy undertakers and a bone-saw.
It is said that at the precise moment of Edward's cremation, the Croft's Workshop was tragically and mysteriously gutted by fire, a blaze which resulted in the destruction of Edward's clock, while leaving that of his sibling miraculously untouched.
The remaining piece, now permanently separated from its charred brother, was brought for exhibition at the House of Clocks, where the intriguingly coincidental sequence of events surrounding its history has proven suggestive for the more fanciful of our visitors, many of whom claim that Gilbert's clock is imbued with the pungent smell of earth and graveyard ivy. -- Mordecai Mulroney
When Samuel Stokes told his wife Maddy that he was building a time machine out of their old grandfather clock, Maddy did not laugh. He was a serious fellow, influenced as much by H.G.Wells as by Albert Einstein, and not a man to change his mind.
And so, a year later, when Sam opened the clock-case and stepped in, Maddy closed the door behind him and agreed to wait for her husband's return. It was a very quiet three minutes before Maddy heard a rapping from the clock-case door. It was Sam, asking if his wife could push a biscuit through the crack in the case and into his future, as he was feeling hungry. Maddy asked what the future was like, to which Sam replied, "It is dark and cramped (much like the inside of a grandfather clock)." For thirty-seven years, Samuel Stokes lived in the future and would not allow Maddy to open the door on the grounds that allowing the two time-streams to merge might prove disastrous. She never complained, nor (despite advice from friends) did she divorce her absent husband. She just continued to post lettuce, slivers of cheese and meat and biscuits through the crack and pour water through the keyhole.
This clock is a monument to the stubbornness of an amateur scientist, the patience of Mrs. Madeleine Stokes, or perhaps the first successful amateur time-traveler. The Stokes family donated this clock, with the understanding that the door should never be opened and the contents (the pale emaciated body of stubborn Sam or a dark and cramped future) remain a mystery. -- Capt. S.S. Hendley
The Fowler Clock
Mr. J. Fowler of New Hampshire happened upon this piece in 1975 while rooting through local refuse. An amateur clock-maker himself, Fowler opened the casing in order to oil the gear train, discovering in the process a nest of Polemistus Abnormis, a species of rare wasp native to the Russian steppes. As Mr. Fowler noted, the nest itself appeared to block the free movement of the gears, an accident of nature which would be expected (under normal circumstances) to impede the clock's function. In this curious case, however, the motion continues. "Eppur si ticke," as Mr. Fowler would often say, to limited amusement.
Despite this off-putting interior, the piece is serviceable, presuming of course that one can endure the incessant buzzing, and tolerate the infernal sound of scratching and flapping of wings that precedes each striking of the hour. -- Mordecai Mulroney
HOC2359, 3260, and 3261
These three clocks are rare examples of the practice of taking
reliquaries of either personal or religious significance and turning
them into clocks.
The Conjurer's Clock
A spring-loaded drawer in the base of this clock becomes accessible for fifteen minutes after every thousandth chiming of twelve, that is, once every five hundred days. Each time the drawer has been opened thus far it has borne a different gift, including a wicker doll, the torn corner of a photograph, a severed human finger (male), and three death-watch beetles.
This charming and surprising piece was built by the now largely forgotten illusionist Alfonse de la Poderoso (real name Ivor Hennessy). Hennessy's life-long claim of having invented "A Contraption of Appearedments and Dissapearedments Without the Use of Trapdoors, Mirrors, or Hidden Compartments" was greeted by the magical community with predictable derision. When pressed for an explanation, Hennessy released a fourteen page document, described by his leading rival (The Astonishing Horatio) as "Incoherent twaddle from beginning to end. What are we to make of such phrases as 'The quaquaversal empowerment stems from circulatory resonance, thrice around cypseloidally, thus focusing the stream?' The lack of respect is implicit."
Dismissed as a fraud, Hennessy died in squalor in 1968 in a Kentucky cheaphouse, and the clock was sold by his estate. Its subsequent effects have been rejected by the now elderly (and presumably less astonishing ) Horatio as a hoax perpetrated by Hennessy's great-grandchildren in order to revive their ancestor's reputation. Naturally they deny the claims. The House is understandably reluctant to involve itself in such disagreeable feuding, although it should be noted that at the time of the clock's last opening (17th of December 2002), a small handwritten note was revealed. We reproduce it here without further comment.
All may not yet be knowned of this Horatio, his noisome estrangement from the balneological arts notwithstanding, the man is no less a crapulent sot, and a perfidious one at that.-- Mordecai Mulroney
The Godwin Clock
Although in all other respects, this clock seems to be simple in both mechanism and design, the Godwin clock is unique in its visual idiosyncrasies, to whit the fact that the chronograph in question is only visible when photographed. Constructed under unknown conditions by Mr. William Godwin of Illinois, the piece was then bequeathed to his inheritors, with strict instructions never to be touched without first availing oneself of thick gloves, lest the clocks particular transparency be conveyed through the skin.
It became custom for the family to have the piece photographed, at which point one of the Godwin children, thinking it an enthralling game, would count the passing of seconds on their fingers until the photograph was developed, sometimes as many as four days later. They would then study the image and add the counted figure to that shown on the clock face in order to ascertain the current time.
Suggestions that an easier method of keeping time might have been achieved by simply purchasing a regular time-piece or enquiring of a neighbour were greeted by the Godwins with scorn and the insistence that this would betray the memory of their beloved ancestor. The wisest of guests would refrain from pressing the matter for fear of swift eviction from the family home. This photograph of the clock was taken shortly after its delivery to the House in early 1916. Sadly, not more than four months later, a careless cleaning woman of, it must be said, dubious repute, seems to have moved the clock while endeavouring to clean it. Needless to say neither the cleaner nor the piece have been seen since, although the chiming of the latter and the embittered complaining of the former are occasionally heard emanating from uncertain location. -- Mordecai Mulroney
Tabitha Tweed's Mantel Clock
This is of particular interest to local experts in nursery rhymes and folk tales, because it is believed to be Tabitha's s original clock - the same clock that children living in the Shambles in the 1940s used to sing about with murderous glee:
Miss Tabitha once had a nice little clock,
This installation recreates, in situ, a portion of the clock collection of Margaret Kettleson-Kohn. Ms. Kohn is most familiar as the wife of Senator Albertus Kohn, often called the father of modern political dialogue. Mrs. Kohn was known for her influence on her husband's speeches, which she always criticized for being too lengthy. The famed Life Magazine photo of Mrs. Kohn holding a stopwatch next to her husbands ear during a political debate has become a cultural touchstone of many of the boomer generation. After retiring from public life, Senator and Mrs. Kohn became the subjects of many rumors. The most prevalent (and it appears, well-founded) rumor was that Mrs. Kohn's temporal obsession had reached such a fever pitch that she filled every available space in their antebellum mansion with timepieces so she would, as former employees claimed, "Always know exactly when." The rest of the Kohn collection is filed in boxes 114 through 498 in the House of Clocks archival vault. -- Sir Peachy Carnehan
The Harbinger's Clock
It is reputed that this timepiece has but one purpose: counting down each moment until the end of reality as we know it.
Despite the best efforts of four consecutive owners, this clock always appears to be out of time with every other clock in its vicinity. Since it has been in the possession of the House of Clocks it has remained stubbornly out-of-sync with every other exhibit in the collection. It has been dismantled twice and many of the parts have been replaced but still its inability to synchronise with any other device borders on the obstructive. -- Capt. S.S. Hendley
Donated by Mr. C.J. Perry of the Brotherhood of Meatworkers
This clock was constructed by Mr. C.J. Perry, who it is believed was an apprentice for the great Meat Clock (no longer on Public display for health reasons). This clock comes with a caveat: Looks can be deceptive. That piece looks like it is made from metal. This bit looks like it is coated with enamel. That other piece looks like wood. As a whole; the item looks like a pleasant clock manufactured by normal sensible means. In fact this is a masterpiece of ossuary and a wonder of the preservers arts. Looks can be deceptive but on a hot day, your sense of smell cannot be deceived. -- Capt. S.S. Hendley
Auctioned among the effects of the self-proclaimed marquis of Colorado, this is one of the House's many clocks which feature extraordinary winding mechanisms. The device in question is invariably either glossed over completely or mentioned only as a scant footnote in most horological publications due to its morally questionable design. We are given to understand that a large number of infants browse these electronic pages and so naturally we are loathe to discuss the vulgar mechanism in unnecessary detail, however, the more bohemian among our visitors may gain enlightenment from the fact that the clock features a cylindrical cavity in the rear, and a pair of sturdy brass handles were originally positioned on either side of the casing. Needless to say the piece was thoroughly cleaned before exhibition, and again following the distressing incident in the spring of 1953 which has been recounted in full elsewhere and will not be repeated here. Suffice it to say that the gentleman in question was severely reprimanded, although one fears that the minds of the witnessing schoolchildren may have been tarnished beyond measure, and the nature of their future marital relations thrown permanently into doubt. -- Mordecai Mulroney
(Excerpted from "Strong Clocks for a Gilded Age," by Lord Edmund Newcastle, London Horological Press, 1888)
Gabriel's Clock has long enjoyed a reputation as a cursed timepiece within the Horological circles, a reputation that only serves to underscore the ignorance rampant in this community. The clock first appeared in the court of Versailles a mere three months before the first stirrings of Gallic rebellion inflamed mobs in Paris to abandon reason for the Guillotine. The Clock passed into the possession of several radical Frenchmen and ended in the collection of Napoleon, who ascribed his defeat in 1799 at the crusader city of Acre to the clock. Writing in his unpublished memoirs from St. Helena, "I could of course blame the generals, who gave in to damn near every one of Blast William Sydney Smiths advances, or even blamed the cursed Turks who surrendered with all the rapidity of a snake breeding, but I know where the true blame is to be found and it is in and on the hands of the damned clock."
After Napoleon's supposed death the clock passed into the hands of American travelers. Ownership of the clock has been ascribed to many august personages over the past eighty years, including Americans Zachary Taylor, John Brown and the Raj of India.
The photograph of this clock was arranged under the supervision of the clock's current owner, Sir William Witney Gull. -- Sir Peachy Carnehan
Hake Cross O'Reed
This clock was built like any other: from wood and brass and enamel
and glass. How it attained sentience and began masquerading as a human
being is currently unknown. While in human form, it had a number of
morally ambiguous misadventures, including contributing its expertise
to the panel of Horologists catologing the clocks in the House, and
other activities which have been chronicled in the House's
guestbook. It is up to the reader to decide what resemblance the
guestbook bears to truth, but the horological information O'Reed
contributed to the House has proved solid and verifiable.